The once 32-woman draw at the WTA 250 in Austin has dwindled to eight as they prepare for a very intriguing quarterfinal Friday. Just three seeded players are left in the draw, though four Americans remain in contention on their home soil, including hometown favorite Peyton Stearns. The 2022 NCAA Champion takes on compatriot Katie Volynets, but the match of the day in Austin is between No. 4 seed Sloane Stephens and Varvara Gracheva. We at LWOT have the preview and prediction for all matches in the capital of Texas. But who will advance?
WTA Austin Quarterfinal Predictions
Danielle Collins vs Anna Kalinskaya
Head-to-Head: Collins 1-0 Kalinskaya
Danielle Collins and Anna Kalinskaya squared off for the first time just over a month ago in Melbourne. Collins got the best of Kalinskaya 7-5 5-7 6-4, but if that match showed us anything, we should be in for a treat on Friday in Austin. Collins dispatched compatriot Caty McNally 6-1 6-1 earlier this week and has looked very comfortable with her forehand in Austin. She has top-ten talent; it is just about her consistency. Kalinskaya provides an intriguing challenge for the American, but I believe she will be able to get to the net often and frustrate her opponent.
Prediction: Collins in 3
Peyton Stearns vs Katie Volynets
Head-to-Head: Stearns 0-1 Volynets
Next-Gen Americans Peyton Stearns and Katie Volynets are set to square off in an Austin quarterfinal that has American tennis fans very intrigued. Stearns had a very decorated career in two years at the University of Texas, claiming the 2022 NCAA Singles Championship. She decided to forgo her final two years of collegiate eligibility and has made an immediate mark on the WTA Tour. Stearns picked up her first (and second) career Tour-level wins this week and is up to No. 126 in the live rankings. Despite being two months younger than her opponent, Volynets has more tour-level experience than Stearns and has seemed to turn a corner to start the 2023 season. Both women are solid from the ground and are not afraid to stand in and hit for hours. In a match where I see very few differences, I have to give the edge to Stearns. She should gain an advantage from a raucous Texas crowd.
Prediction: Stearns in 3
Marta Kostyuk vs Anna-Lena Friedsam
Head-to-Head: Kostyuk 1-0 Friedsam
20-year-old Marta Kostyuk should look at the remaining eight players in this draw and believe she has as good of a chance as any to capture her first WTA title. Kostyuk is the No. 8 seed this week in Austin and is into her third quarterfinal of the year. She has all the tools to rise up the WTA rankings quickly. Kostyuk will square off against veteran Anna-Lena Friedsam in the Austin quarterfinals. Friedsam is coming off a three-hour, 11-minute win over Erika Andreeva. I do not believe she has the tools to beat the young Ukranian. Barring some sloppy play, Kostyuk should roll.
Prediction: Kostyuk in 2
Sloane Stephens vs Varvara Gracheva
Head-to-Head: Stephens 1-1 Gracheva
Sloane Stephens and Varvara Gracheva squared off last week in Merida. The American came from a set down to get the better of Gracheva 5-7 6-2 7-6. That was Stephens’ first victory of the season and a much-needed confidence booster. I see this rematch playing out very similarly to their meeting in Merida. Gracheva will have her moments, but ultimately Stephens will get it done. She will feed off an Austin crowd that has shown her love all week.
Prediction: Stephens in 3
Main Photo Credit: Mike Frey-USA TODAY Sports